Thursday, July 25, 2013

Merlin, the Magical Shelter Cat

Merlin was our 6th cat to enter the family and the only one we got from a shelter.  A bit odd, don't you think... since we are purebreed cat snobs that get our cats exclusively from breeders? I know Jackson Galaxy is shaking his fists at us.  Dude, we love you even if you don't approve of our cat-buying methods. We did rescue ONE kitty.  That's better than nothing, right? Jackson?  Jackson?!  Even if you're mad at us, you can't make us stop loving you watching your show.  Loved the "How Do You Like Me Meow" special, by the way.

But seriously, why on earth would we have all these purebred cats and then adopt a cat from a shelter? The only thing I can come up with is some cosmic alignment which brought Merlin to our family, who ended up being Marshall's soulmate kitty.

Like I mentioned previously, Marshall had been a tiny bit resentful about the amount of kitties we had.  He absolutely refused to step foot in a pet store.  When it was time to fill up on cat litter, cat food, bunny food, and frozen mice (yes, frozen mice for our corn snake, Neville Longbottom), Marshall would sit in the car with the younger two kids while Haven and I would go in Petsmart and get the supplies.

Of course our first stop would be to see the kitties behind the glass.  We'd Ooooooo and Ahhhhh over them, read their cards, then fall in love with each and every one of them.  We saw this hilarious orange kitty, sleeping in an awkward sitting up position against the glass, and every time he breathed out, it would fog up the glass.  We saw his name (Sebastian), and that he was found with his littermates and mother on the street and is a Maine Coon. (probably not a complete purebred, but mostly a Maine Coon)  It also says he loves to play with other cats.  So I took his picture and texted it to Marshall as well as pictures of the other cats there.  I received a text back from Marshall saying, "Stay on target... stay on target..."   *sigh*  Okay, time to get the boring items, but Haven and I always stop back at the kitty window to say goodbye to the cats before we leave.  Here he is sleeping weirdly against the glass...

Three weeks later... Again Marshall is in the car with Seamus and Marlie.  Haven and I walked back into Petsmart, and headed to the kitties behind the glass, as always.  All the cats that were there 3 weeks ago had been replaced.  EXCEPT for that silly kitty that was sleeping up against the glass.  He wasn't sleeping this time, in fact the moment he saw us, he started doing this...

Oh Em Geee!  Seriously!! How could you say no to that?  He's saying, "Hey, you're my family!  I belong to you and have been waiting for your return.  Take me home now please."  Okay I really have no idea what he was thinking.  But seriously, SERIOUSLY!! Look at him pawing the window with his huge paws!  So I shot the video you just saw.  And in between each item we grabbed, we'd come back to visit him and he'd do it again!  Actually I think he should write a guide for other cats on "How To Get Adopted By The Humans" because this little purebreed cat snob was willing to do anything to get him."

When I got back in the car, I made Marshall watch the video before I let him leave the parking lot.  He agreed the cat was cute, but it didn't really touch his heart.  I said, "I heard Maine Coons have awesome personalities."  Marshall: "I'm sure they do."  I replied, "But we could give him such a good home! It says he loves other kitties. WE have other kitties!"  Marshall: "Uh huh."

The next day, Marshall was trying to play grabby hands in the living room.  It's no secret I'm rather large in the chest area.  Here is me, modeling my new Bob Ross shirt.  Bob Ross is awesome.  If you're a long-time reader of mine, you'd know about my love for him.  So here are my boobs.

I can pretty much forget about fending Marshall off if I'm wearing a V-neck shirt, but this time I was trying hard to block him.  Not that I'd normally mind, but this was in the living room, with kids running all over the house.  I was blocking him like a ninja.  He asked nicely for me to let him grope me.  I'd answer back with, "Can I get that kitty?", (I know I wasn't playing fair, but ladies, you gotta use what you've got for your advantage.) He'd ask again to grope me and again I'd say, "Can I get that kitty?" (this went on back and forth for a good 10 minutes before he finally relented, said I could get the cat and so I let him grope me.)  This was last year, so we had been married 16 years.  Yes, I know, we still act like we're a bunch of horny teenagers.  I believe I WAS wearing a V-neck that day, but this is from another day and well, you get the idea of how things go down in our living room when Marshall sneaks a grope. (I just realized my in-laws are probably reading this... that's awkward.)

So I called the number on the card on his window and set up a time to meet with the ladies from Kitten Rescue.  He didn't seem much like a kitten... more like an adult size of a smaller breed of cat, even though he was 6 months old.  (while tiny kittens are cute, older kittens show more of their personality. I'd rather have an adult (like our Abyssinian was when we got him, than a tiny kitty. Don't make me go into the tiny Bengal kitty fiasco of 2004!  It did not end well.)

Back to the Petsmart kitty:  I filled out the application to adopt him while the kids and Marshall played with him in the little "get-to-know-you-room."

The ladies at the shelter told us there had been several applications to adopt him, but none of them had other cats and they wouldn't let him go to a family that didn't have other cats.  Score for us!  They approved us on the spot, provided we passed the house inspection.  Oh yes, they had to bring the cat to us, perhaps to make sure he wasn't headed to a pentagram sacrifice altar in the basement. We don't even have a basement. Anywho, while they were here, Marshall hung out with Merlin (as we re-named him) in our laundry room while the shelter ladies played with our Sphynx Kitties.  They don't see many Sphynx kitties in shelters, so they were excited for the chance to play with them.  I think they were there for an hour, just playing with our cats.  Don't judge them. Our cats are very social and play-able.  Not sure what was going on in the laundry room but I suspect Merlin was performing some sort of love spell on Marshall, because after the ladies left, he came out of the laundry room all starry-eyed.

The very next morning when we woke up, Marshall asked for "his kitty" to be brought to our bedroom, so he could snuggle with him.  Uh.... say WHAT?!  Merlin purred, loved on Marshall and played tag with the kids.  When we finally got out of the bedroom, Marshall was holding him and declared that Merlin was HIS kitty.

And it's very mutual, because Merlin (while sweet to all the humans in the family), only has eyes for Marshall.  He follows him around like a dog. We need to get him a leash because I'm sure he'd go for a walk with Marshall.  He's the kind of cat who would follow Marshall around, jump in his pick-up truck and go anywhere with him.  That is, if Marshall had a pick-up truck.

According to Marshall, Merlin can do no wrong.  I will say, "Your cat is on the dining room table."  Marshall's reply, "It's just in his natural instinct to want to be close to wood like in the wild."  Seriously that cat gets away with everything.  It's hilarious to see Marshall p-whipped.  I realize I'm well within my rights to actually say the "p" word since I am in fact referring to a cat, but Marshall thinks that word is crass, so I will refrain.

Since this transformation in Marshall via Merlin, Marshall now enjoys ALL the cats more.  He loves them a whole lot more.  And he cleans the litterboxes without complaint. !!! Seriously, what more can you ask for?  Merlin is a pretty awesome cat, and with his still gargantuan-sized paws, only time will tell how big he will end up.  I've heard it can take years for Maine Coons to reach their full size.  Sometimes we joke that his father must have been a Mountain Lion, and we refer to him as a Puma Coon.

He fit perfectly into the Cat Pack (as we call them) and was one of them in no time at all.  Here they are all together.  First you might think... Julie, you let your cats on your dining room table??  But a moth had flown in and was flying around the light, so instead of freaking out about 5 cats on the table, I took pictures.  Come on, you know that's a good pic.  I'll have to photoshop Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod into the picture.  Heh heh.

Check out this video from last Christmas where Merlin was playing gently with his favorite ornament.  It's so freakin' cute!  Every time he'd pass the Christmas tree during Christmas season, he'd do this with this one ornament!

Bottom line: We took a chance and found a once-in-a-lifetime kitty at Kitten Rescue.  If you are in the Los Angeles area and looking for a kitty, definitely check them out.  You never know what wonderful cat you might be missing out on.  You might just find your once-in-a-lifetime soulmate kitty too.

*UPDATE*  Turns out Jackson Galaxy isn't too mad at me after all.  This is the tweet he sent me after reading this post:

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  1. This was fantastic! I also let my hubby play grabby hands to get what I want! A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do to get what she wants & everyone's a winner!

  2. Dude, hate to break it to Mr. G, but Merlin was all over me like flies on shit when I visited. Even you said that he usually wasn't THAT friendly with the kids!

  3. Dude, hate to break it to Mr. G, but Merlin was all over me like flies on shit when I visited. Even you said that he usually wasn't THAT friendly with the kids!

  4. Btw, I can do without the PDA demo. You need a warning label for shit like that!

    1. Sophia, the PDA demo was integral to the whole story and how we got Merlin! Besides, I was fully clothed. ;)

  5. That may be however I didn't need a visual. Your words were descriptive enough! I will never look at Bob Ross the same way ever again.

  6. Cannot tell you how much I love the fact that you "selfied" a photo of Mr. G going for the grope! Too funny! I think you need to pick this up for him for when he has some free time:

    Meeting Merlin and the rest of your Cat Army is definitely on my bucket list.

  7. Cannot tell you how much I love the fact that you `selfied` a photo of Mr. G going for the grope. Too funny! I think you need to order this for him for whenever he has some spare time:

    Meeting Merlin and the rest of your Cat Army is definitely on my bucket list. :)

  8. Awesome post. You are a great storyteller. Thanks for the visual of the grope....too funny.
    Happy Cats to you